How Many Dryer Balls Per Load? How Do Dryer Balls Work?

Are you tired of static cling, wrinkles, and long drying times? Enter wool dryer balls – the ultimate laundry hack that can revolutionize your laundry routine. But, how many wool dryer balls do you need per load?

The general rule of thumb is to use three dryer balls per load. But, you may want to add more or less depending on the size of your dryer and the size of your laundry load. Bigger loads will need more dryer balls to get the benefits, smaller loads will need fewer dryer balls.

We’re going to cover everything you need to know about using dryer balls starting with how wool dryer balls work. Let’s get into it!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This means I may earn a commission should you choose to make a purchase using my link

How Many Dryer Balls for Each Load?

how many dryer balls per load

For most dryers and laundry sizes, you should use three dryer balls per load. However, the number of balls needed may vary depending on the size of your load and the efficiency of your dryer.

Smaller loads may only need two balls, while larger loads may require four or more balls to get the benefits of wool dryer balls.

You’ll also want to make sure you don’t overload the dryer with too many clothes. Even six or eight dryer balls would not help much in this case. In order to work, the dryer balls need room to move around. 

If you divide a huge load into two or more smaller loads, the clothes will dry much faster, and you will save money in the long run.

This rule of thumb with how many dryer balls for each load is the same for wool dryer balls as well as plastic dryer balls.

Benefits of Dryer Balls

Dryer balls offer a multitude of benefits.

One of the key advantages of using dryer balls is their ability to shorten drying times. By bouncing around in the dryer, the balls separate the wet laundry, creating pockets for hot air to circulate through.

This extra air circulation decreases the drying time of your clothes and reduces energy consumption.

Unlike dryer sheets that can contain harsh chemicals or fragrances, wool dryer balls are made from natural materials and are safe for those with sensitive skin or allergies.

Plastic or rubber dryer balls are also great for people with sensitive skin or allergies but they are made with synthetic materials.

If you love the fresh scent that dryer sheets give your laundry, you can replicate that smell by putting a couple of drops of essential oil on the dryer balls. Once they’re in the dryer, this fragrance will get released giving you fresh-smelling laundry. That’s not something you can do with plastic dryer balls.

When the dryer balls bounce around in the dryer, they also help to fluff and aerate your laundry, leaving your clothes feeling softer and more comfortable against your skin.

Another great benefit of wool dryer balls is they are environmentally friendly and last a long time. While most dryer sheets options are single-use dryer sheets, wool dryer balls can last for hundreds of loads.

This not only saves you money in the long run but also reduces waste, making them a sustainable alternative to dryer sheets.

How Do Dryer Balls Work?

how do dryer balls work

Wool dryer balls have a ton of benefits as we’ve already talked about, but they create these benefits by creating space between your laundry items in the dryer.

While the dryer balls are bouncing around your dryer, they will wedge their way between the layers of wet clothes. This allows the warm air to get closer to each layer, thus decreasing the drying process. 

If you’re using wool balls, they will also absorb some of the heat and redistribute it into the layers, adding a little more drying power each time the machine turns the clothes over. 

There are some complaints that dryer balls do not take all of the static out of a load. If this happens, sprinkle a little water on the balls before throwing them in. By elevating the humidity this way, more of the static is eliminated. 

A more permanent way to decrease static is to securely pin a metal safety pin to each ball. The static electricity will be defused when the metal safety pin hits the metal sides of the dryer.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Using dryer balls is pretty simple, just throw a few in the dryer and let them do their thing. But, there are a few things you’ll want to avoid to make sure you get the best results.

One of the most common mistakes when using wool dryer balls is overloading your dryer with too much clothing or too many dryer balls.

This can reduce the effectiveness of the wool dryer balls and you won’t get as many of the benefits.

There are also some dryer balls out there that aren’t 100% wool and they may not provide the same benefits as pure wool dryer balls. Make sure you check before you buy.

Here is a link from Amazon that has the kind of 100% natural wool dryer balls I use for my laundry (Note: we get commissions at no cost to you). They’re fairly cheap and a great addition to your laundry room.

Dryer Ball FAQs

How long do wool dryer balls last

Wool Dryer Balls vs Plastic Dryer Balls

Both wool and plastic dryer balls decrease the drying cycle and help soften clothing. Wool dryer balls can have fragrances to them by adding a few drops of your favorite essential oils and they last longer than plastic dryer balls. Plastic dryer balls are usually cheaper and they’re made of plastic or rubber which is good for someone who easily gets skin irritation or a wool/animal fiber allergy.

How Long Do Wool Dryer Balls Last?

Wool dryer balls should last around 1000 loads of laundry which could be years depending on how many loads of laundry you do a week. If you notice that your wool dryer balls are wearing out, you can ‘recharge’ them by putting them in the washing machine on high heat. This will help refelt the wool and hopefully make them last longer. For more info, check this out: How Long Do Wool Dryer Balls Last? How to Recharge Them

Are Dryer Sheets Necessary?

Dryer sheets are not necessary for a successful load of laundry. You can instead use wool dryer balls, homemade dryer sheets, or nothing at all. For a breakdown of whether dryer sheets are necessary and alternatives to them, check out our other post: Do You Need To Use Dryer Sheets? 3 Easy Alternatives

Can I Use Tennis Balls As Dryer Balls?

You should not use tennis balls as dryer balls. Tennis balls are not made to handle the wear and tear of the dryer. To further dissuade you, the bright yellow fibers of the tennis balls will flake off and get on your laundry which would be a bad day for anybody.

Can You Use Dryer Balls and Dryer Sheets Together?

Yes, you can use both dryer balls and dryer sheets but it’s not necessary to use them together. Both dryer sheets and dryer balls give similar benefits. But, traditional dryer sheets add fragrance and decrease static cling better and wool dryer balls give a faster drying time and have less of an environmental impact.

Can You Leave Dryer Balls In the Dryer?

Nothing bad will happen to your dryer balls if you leave them in the dryer. However, if you run a single item through the dryer just to de-wrinkle it, it would be a good idea to take out your dryer balls. They won’t help the single item and the extra load will just create additional wear and tear. What happens most with my wool dryer balls is they get stuck in the sleeves of my clothes so they end up out of the dryer anyways.


Leslie has lived in tons of different places that were all in different states of repair. She has experience remodeling and replacing just about everything in a home including the roof. When she's not working on a project, Leslie blogs about home improvement tips to pass on her knowledge to others.

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